Last year we went to see Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre for the first time and we absolutely loved it. Florence and I had an evening with just us when we attended a Save The Children Christmas Jumper Day event and were treated to the ballet but this year, we knew we couldn’t keep it to ourelves because it was so wonderfully Christmassy that it really is a performance for the whole family to enjoy!
It has been running with the Birmingham Rep and Sadlers Wells for years upon years and it’s easy to see why. Once is never enough and after the first experience it clearly becomes tradition for many families. It was lovely then, on Saturday, that we got the opportunity to take our boys for the first time and introduce them to the magic!
I wouldn’t say I’m a massive ballet fan in general, it might have something to do with years of ballet training myself at Italia Conti when all I really wanted to do was act, I was never very good at it and developed a dislike for the genre but there’s something entirely different and unique about The Snowman which i think could turn anyone into a fan! I might not be ready to crack the nutcracker year upon year just yet but I can’t think I’d ever tire of seeing this wonderful Briggs book brought to life in such a beautiful and magical way.
The story is, as the film, a little different to the book with the addition of Father Christmas but that aside and it’s like opening up the pages and watching them fly. Which is exactly what the Snowman and The Boy do on their journey over the skies and into the forest where they meet lots of friends along the way. After The Boy takes The Snowman into his home to warm up by the fire (never a good idea if youre made of snow) they embark on their magical journey and boy, it’s one to behold!
Florence remembered everything and when the doors to the fridge opened she whispered to me that she was excited to see the coconut again and low and behold out danced a giant one with some other fruit in one of the funniest moments from the performance with one of the best costumes EVER! Jimmy sat for the entire production with wide eyes and wonder and when they flew… WOW, the whole audience gasped!
Theatre is tricky to guage when it comes to little ones and what they can cope with. My two are rather lucky as they have been so often it’s almost like a second home, they are comfortable to watch pretty much anything but I know for others the theatre can be a daunting prospect with tiny ones. Working out if soemthing is worth spending money on, especially when tickets are not terribly inexpensive, is one I suppose only each of us as parents can make the decision for but for my money I’d bet most would be pretty pleased with their decision if The Snowman has been decided upon. When we took our seats a little girl of about 18 months in front of us was wiggling about in her seat, making noises and becoming more and more restless. could see her parents worried looks that maybe this wasn’t the right time for them to have brought her, I could read from their eyes they were worrying she may be too young but as soon as it stated she stopped. She sat down in her seat, snuggled into her Mummy and just like my two, became fixed on the set as the story danced out in front of her. The parents shoulders relaxed and they knew they havd made the right choice, a festive favourite for yet another family was born.
We think here at Rocknrollerbaby HQ that the introduction of ballet to young children couldn’t be more perfect and for something really special this year why not give it a go?! Our highlights included Jack frost (although I did have a little head buried in my chest for a few moments of panic) and the perfect ballerina of the toy box. What a show, what a treat, what an experience for all of us, not just the children! I know my friend Lisa from NewMumOnLine also enjoyed it immensely with her brood so if you want more confirmation of how wonderful it is then do check out her review too.
Ticket information can be found on the Sadler’s Wells website here and The Snowman is running from now until the 2nd January 2016. As a little aside it’s worth noting that the Peacock Theatre is very accessible for famlies and it has a lift to all floors. It’s a short walk fom Holborn but if you need step free then Waterloo only takes around 20 minutes on foot too.
We were invited to a press performance for the purpose of an honest review.